Friday, February 22, 2008


turkey's invasion of northern iraq has begun four days ago whether this is a mere incursion, or a lasting mission in cohorts with u.s. policies to partly relieve and aid the american forces in the territory still remains to be seen.

what is certain however, is that, america would never sanction the turkish operation for free - it also remains what the bill is going to be: certainly some support against iran and/or a more active and combative involvement designed for turkish troops in iraq; not to mention afghanistan. and also, whatever economic quid pro quo dick cheney may put on the table in his coming visit that will certainly bring more kudos to some american conglomerate(s).

my first reservation: any military move by dubya's lame duck administration against iran will only serve to consolidate the badly shaken political ground under the feet of ahmadinajad, and his extremist clique, nip off the budding urban opposition to the mollah-cracy.

the rest concern turkey mainly:

above all, the pkk is not a terrorist organization; it is an ordinary gang of ordinary crime that happens to operate accross borders, along a geographic stretch that has been one of the world's primary routes of contraband trade for at least four millennia. calling the pkk terrorist affords it a potential and implied legitimacy as an organization with licit political claims. turkey's diplomatic pressure, aided by the gang's atrocities have resulted in its classification as a terrorist organization by the e.u. and the u.s.a. but in the unofficial media, it is often mentioned as a rebel or "guerilla" movement, not a long step from demanding some legal status on international scale (*).

next, over-concentration on northern iraq as the pkk's military base, seems to shadow the fact that the the kurdish population in turkey is the human resource of the gang. the possibility that the operation may root out the "militants" accross the border raises my level of anxiety that the band will be driven underground in turkey, staging attacks on urban civilian targets - 63 such attempts were reportedly foiled last year, while two bombs did explode with signifiant fatalities in ankara and diyarbakır.

furthermore, since by national identity, the pkk is a turkish organization, the casualties on both side of the war are turkish citizens. this, "read backwards", spells civil war. crushing the pkk or other criminal bands is turkey's prerogative and duty, as well as its very legitimate and legal right naturally. however, decimating what amounts to an ethnically distinguishable portion of its own population, albeit legally, requires from a state that takes such measures, an unnatural effort in order to win back the hearts and minds of not only the remainder of the insurgent minority, but all the rest of its demographic denominations. there is not the slightest indication that the mental and especially inntellectual make up of turkey's current political élite is capable of that. on the other hand, the general public presentation of the war against the pkk is replete with messages that can potentiallly alienate the entire kurdish "minority", instead of welding their non-irredentist majority back to the state's claim of legitimacy and its rôle as the pillar of that collective legitimacy.
(*) not neccessarily being given it, of course...

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